Bondcliff, Bond, West Bond and Zealand

Hiked Bondclif, Bond, West Bond and Zealand on 11/8/2014. These were peaks 517, 518, 519, and 520 for “The Grid over 60”. The weather forecast for the day was pretty good for this long hike and turned out better than predicted, temps in the 20’s, low winds and close to 100 mile visibilty with bright blue skies. Hiked with Bill Cronin, Mike Lynch was supposed to join us but couldn’t make it over Kancamaugus Pass due to icy road conditions. We started at 6:15 AM and made it to the bridge over Franconia Brook in about 50 minutes.

Light dusting of snow on the bridge over Franconia Brrok
Light dusting of snow on the bridge over Franconia Brrok

We crossed the bridge and started up the Bondcliff Trail. We stopped at the bottom of Hilary’s Step to have a PBJ as it sounded too windy to stop and eat on the summit of Bondcliff. Turned out we were wrong as it wasn’t windy but it felt good to eat.

Franconia Ridge with a cloud layer between
Franconia Ridge with a cloud layer between

We stopped on Bondcliff for a few minutes to take pictures and measure the wind. It was pretty calm and gusted to 18MPH with a temperature of 19.

Bill measuring the wind on Bondcliff
Bill measuring the wind on Bondcliff

We then continued along to climb up to the summit of Bond where the conditions were about the same.

Franconia Ridge from the summit of Bond
Franconia Ridge from the summit of Bond

We continued along the Bondcliff Trail until we got the the spur trail over to West Bond.

Bondcliff from West Bond
Bondcliff from West Bond

Back at the junction with the Bondcliff trail we ate half of a PBJ to keep our energy up.

Sun shining on the rime ice on the trees
Sun shining on the rime ice on the trees

Continued along the Bondcliff trail until we got to Guyot which is a 4K peak but doesn’t count as it doesn’t have enough elevation gain from the low spot with West Bond.

Garfield from Guyot
Garfield from Guyot

Turned on the Twinway and headed for Zealand, kind of a hard section of trail as there are large rocks to navigate around and we had 3-5 inches of new snow covering up the holes and roots and ice.

Washington from the Twinway between Guyot and Zealand
Washington from the Twinway between Guyot and Zealand
Viewless summit of Zealand
Viewless summit of Zealand

Made our way over to Zeacliff where someone had made a snowman.

Snow man on Zeacliff
Snow man on Zeacliff
Sunset from Zeacliff
Sunset from Zeacliff

We made the steep descent to Zealand Hut and got there just before it got dark enough to need headlamps. We went in and finished our PBJs and got our headlamps on and did the last 2.5 miles out to the parking lot. The entire trip was around 19.5 miles and took us 12 hours and 10 minutes. It was a long and tiring day.

Only 56 peaks left to finish “The Grid over 60”.

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